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Press release from the City of Fort Wayne:

First Fort Wayne Business Services Showcase a Huge Success
Nearly 100 small-business owners and budding entrepreneurs attended

Nearly 100 people attended the City of Business Services Showcase today hosted at the Public Safety Academy by the City of Fort Wayne.

More than 90 small-business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs attended the showcase to learn about opportunities for funding and support, as well zoning and licensing from local government.

In an effort to improve relations between local government and businesses, Mayor Tom Henry shared his goals for the program as the showcase began.

“Each week I meet with new business owners in Fort Wayne … It seems each time I inform a business owner of how they can benefit from the City’s assistance, local employers tell me ‘Wow, Mayor, if I had only known that, I would have taken advantage of it a long time ago!'” said Mayor Henry.

“That is exactly why I asked my staff to put this Showcase together, to make sure that residents starting a business or thinking about starting a business know that Fort Wayne and Allen County have available resources to help their businesses succeed,” Mayor Henry said.

The four-hour showcase included three breakout sessions that focused on finding public and private sources for start-up grants and small-business loans, accessing information necessary to commercial development and how to apply for contracts with the City.

Chris Kordyl, a co-owner of a new Fort Wayne business called New Vision Jewelers said he was glad he attended the Showcase.

“It’s never easy to start a business, but it’s great to know that the Mayor and local government offices are so interested in helping people like us and in learning how they can assist us even better in the future,” said Kordyl. “I’ve never seen this type of outreach from government before.”

Kordyl, who has two business partners, including one in Fort Wayne, said he hopes to move his wife and three children to the Fort Wayne area if his new business is successful. He said today’s showcase gave him added confidence that Fort Wayne was the right place to start his company.

Greg Leatherman, Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission said the attendance and positive feedback for the four-hour event exceeded his expectations.

“We received a good deal of positive feedback today that will help shape future Showcases,” Leatherman said, referring to the comment form every participant was encouraged to complete. “We will continue to focus on keeping topics timely and on target, and with today’s strong turnout, we believe we can market future events even more broadly.”

Mayor Henry informed attendees and the event’s sponsors that he will be in regular discussion with staff about additional ways the City can help local businesses grow.

“I am thrilled with the energy, ingenuity and optimism I encountered today,” Mayor Henry said. “Fort Wayne’s residents will continue to see City government working to help them improve their businesses. This is an exciting time to live in Fort Wayne.”

The Business Services Showcase was co-sponsored by the City of Fort Wayne, Allen County and the Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce. Additional organizations included Partners in Contracting Corporation, Women’s Enterprise, WorkOne Northeast, Conexus Indiana, and the Northeast Indiana Sustainable Business Council.

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